Thursday, October 27, 2005


We've had too much Spring rain, it can stop now. It makes Spring seem like left over Winter. It wrecks the racing form for the Cup. It makes the grass grow and the weeds and the ivy. Especially the ivy which is supposed to keep to its side of the bluestone barrier but with all this rain it's not keeping the bargain. It's sneaking up the fence and into the trees.

It knows I can't get rid of it because underneath those lovely shiny leaves is a seething, heaving mass of fornicaton and reproduction. Slugs, spiders, lizards and snails are all at it. I live in hope that they'll eat each other but as long as the ivy stays, the garden ghetto is safe.

I tear up the junk mail and feed it to the snails. I am their god, the one who rains manna from heaven, the one they worship. I can hear the little slimers muttering, 'we can't cross the barrier. The god who feeds us will let us die in the sacred pools of frothy amber. Don't cross the barrier'. It's a shocking waste of a tinnie (not really it's Sydney brew) but they die happy and it keeps the rest in their place.

The slugs are something else, for one thing they're carnivores and they're huge. They'll eat any cat food I throw out to the Magpies and would eat the Magpies if they could. I could blame myself for this since the ivy's a good buriel spot for the occasional dead bird or mouse so carnivorous mutant slugs might be a local phenomenon. Although I'm sure I've seen some sliming the corridors of power in Canberra.

I've no idea how many species of spiders live in there but after seeing something big, black and hairy dragging an egg sack containing half the population of Tokyo, I don't want to. I have visions of a slug vs. spider 'Mad Max' existence in the depths.

I mean something out there is knocking off mice and birds. I know it's not the cats. The garden is foreign territory to them, just something they look at from behind glass between trips to the food dish and my bed.

So I can't kill the ivy and it knows it.

It's an ivy-free zone at the back but that's not without the wildlife spookies either. Late afternoon, the birds start gathering along the fence like a casting call for an Alfred Hitchcock movie. They sit close together, watching, silent and waiting, except for the doves who are usually too busy having wild sex under the lime tree. Talk about seed fuelled rage parties, they go at it at the drop of a feather. Exhibitionists! I've seen more action under that tree than in my.....aah never mind where.

Night belongs to the possums. Ringtails and Brushtails, always hungry and like the doves perpetually horny if the noise on the roof is anything to go by. They hate me because I cut down the Spruce tree but it was in their own best interests. I was always amused at how they would delicately negotiate the phone line across the road, across the garden to the roof and then leap to the Spruce only to miss it completely and hit every branch on the way down......every night! These freeloaders come for apples and currants, not cheap sultanas but expensive currants. They also like honey-dipped bread but unless they're prepared to chip in for my Tasmanian leatherwood goodness, let 'em eat crumbs.

I'm not a slave to my garden, I'm a slave to every creatures that looks at me cutely. But I'm warning them, the minute I win Tattslotto I'm having the whole lot bricked over.

No comments: